Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 37: Round 2 with Ball and Free Therapy

Ball taught the 5pm class tonight. I must confess, when I walked in and saw he was teaching, I about crapped my pants. Yesterday he turned me into a quivering shaking puddle of yoga carnage. The only thing that saved me was the fact that he was teaching at 5, so it was in the big (read: not as hot) room. The class actually went fine and I made it through all of the postures. The other yoga champion, Alisa, was practicing in the front row. I didn't keep my eyes on myself the whole time, I let my attention wander over to see some of her postures. Absolutely beautiful! She really is amazing. I happened to look over after falling out of my own standing bow to see her fully locked out. All I can say is wow.
Sometimes when I am in yoga, I get the benefit of a physical practice combined with some free therapy. The therapy comes about when I have little mini revelations during class, or sometimes afterwards on the drive home.
So today I found two little therapeutic gems during my practice. The first thing I realized was this: I was having another "mediocre" practice and I realized, that like a drug addict needs their fix, I constantly hope for the high of that "rock star" practice. You know, the one where you rock it out, do some amazing (for you) postures and feel very strong. You leave that room feeling on top of the world. Well, like life, your practice is different everyday and you are not guaranteed a rock star practice, and you don't know when they are going to happen. The thing I realized was our breakthroughs don't happen during those sessions. The breakthroughs are happening little by little as we make it through our mediocre sessions and even our dripping puddle of carnage sessions. Those sessions are what make the rock star sessions possible. I appreciate all of them...good, bad, mediocre, its an amazing thing this yoga.
Little gem number two: sometimes our teachers tell us to smile at odd times, like in cobra. I always think, are you kidding, I'm just going to look like the joker, or at the very least constipated if I smile while in this posture! I get why they tell us that...trick your body into thinking everything is good, release those endorphins. I get it. Well, what I realized today is that I have been through three very difficult things in such a short time. Over the course of six months I've suffered through the most painful breakup of my life, had problems with my daughter (unrelated to the breakup) a couple of months later, and most recently the very sad 4th of July passing of my beloved dog. So I've been sad pretty much this whole year! I started thinking today in class that it needs to be time for me to be happy, to find some peace. Misery attracts misery, so perhaps, in time I can learn to just smile, to "act as if I'm happy" and won't be acting anymore.


  1. Michelle,

    Thank YOU for writing. Your writing encourages me daily. It's stunning to me how similar we seem to be.

    I recently had a very painful issue come up with a dear friend. I abandoned him, which was completely wrong of me to do, out of fear. I spent a few days anguishing over my stupid decision and took the risk on Sunday to reach out to him. I was terrified of what would happen, but he responded. After some very raw conversation and humility, I think we are on our way back to being friends. But I would never have been able to reach out, to take that risk without my practice.

    One of my teachers says, "Fake it til you make it." Sometimes this adage makes me a little irritated. I don't like faking anything in the room. But he's right in that we have to put out our maximum energy, even when we don't have it. The mat always returns to us what we put out. You're so right, and I've written about it lately too, that it's not the 'rock-star' classes that transform us. It's the classes that reduce us to puddles that make us true yoginis. Change comes through discomfort and challenge.

    I am so encouraged by you. Reading your daily journey has given me new courage to be more transparent in my Challenge and try to find new depth emotionally. It hasn't been easy but it's worth it.

    Sending you love and light. Namaste


  2. What a super journal!

    Would love to have you post some of your experiences at, the new social network for fans of hot yoga. Think they'd be a real inspiration for the hundreds of visitors we receive daily - and might help create a few new converts :-)

  3. Hi Girl,
    I am so proud of you. The discoveries you are maing about yoursef are wonderful. Perhaps more than all the physical things that it does for or bodies, and don't get me wrong, I delight in the weight-loss and new muscels, I love yoga for the metal strength and peace I find. I have always known I am a strong woman, and that there are many wonderful things about me....but sometimes it's easy to keeps that at the forfront of my thoughts.

    Thursday is the anniversary of my husband's death. Sharon is on the schedule for 5....I was so hoping to see that was teaching on that day. If she sticks to it, I am at the 5 oclock on Thursday. Hope to see you there.
    Love Ya,

  4. Michelle my Bell,

    You are awesome....Keep up with the smiling....whatever you need to do to make it become natural. You, me & Shelley have come a LONG way and we keep smiling along the way. You're in my thoughts.
    Michelle A.